Day 2 Saturday 20th October at sea
I was awake early and hoped to see the sunrise. Out on the balcony I could hear prayers being chanted somewhere above. I could see that the sun was rising directly aft of the ship. I threw on my jeans and a jacket and headed out for the stern of the ship.
On Deck 15 the Verona restaurant had yet to open as it was still early morning. I passed through the restaurant and went out on the aft deck. There were a few hardy folks smoking at the tables but otherwise I was the only person out there.
After grabbing my images I was early enough that I could enjoy a couple of mugs of tea before it was time to get ready for breakfast in the Oriental.
Our walk backwards and forwards on the Promenade Deck was just over three miles.
Leaking ceiling in the cabin
After breakfast back in the cabin, we noticed that the carpet by the wardrobe area was soaking wet. The ceiling tiles above had a steady drip of (thankfully) clear water. After 35 minutes I gave up trying to ring reception. The queue for reception was very long. I surprised to hear the number of passengers complaining about their cabins. The others in the queue were wanting to cancel the standard gratuities.
A ship’s officer came into the cabin and added blue pool towels to the wet carpet. We then had a fleeting visit by an engineer who looked at the carpet and the ceiling. He told us that he would be back with some help later.
Lunch in the Peninsular
Lunch on Azura was in the Peninsular if you wanted to have table service. The menu options have all changed since our last P&O cruise. At first sight the option of a salad was not available. I chose the sharing platter of Indian food. This was in the section marked as ‘large selections’.
When the plate came I had one samosa, one poppadom, five pakora and one lettuce leaf! At this time I was not sure how this could be defined as a sharing meal! A large treacle suet pudding rounded off my lunch.
The leaking ceiling continued
Back in our cabin our cabin steward was cleaning and I was intrigued to see our mugs, spoons and glasses were all in the bathroom (more about this in a later part of this blog). We sat outside on the balcony reading and enjoying the sunshine. Once the sun was off the balcony we came inside just as another engineer arrived.
This engineer took our remaining blue pool towel (note that none had been refreshed despite the ones on the carpet) to stand on the chair. He reached up to the air-conditioning vent in the ceiling. At full stretch he was just about able to unscrew the metal tile and then reach up to the unit itself. His sense of humour came through as he tried to jump up to see along the roof cavity.
When he came back with yet another engineer they moved the unit onto the cabin floor and took down the tiles in the corridor outside. They were all the time looking for water. Then two more engineers arrived and joined the good-natured party in the cabin. All of them were trying to take turns to stand and peer through the hole in our cabin’s ceiling.
After three engineers had left, the one remaining engineer put everything back together. He updated us that whatever had caused the problem had gone away. He asked us to call engineering directly if any more leaks occurred.
Time for a drink!
Our first evening at sea
In the Planet Bar I had my first Doom Bar of the cruise. Sadly Jaipur IPA was no longer available.
Dinner in the Oriental was again just the four of us at the table. I started with chicken Caesar salad followed by pulled pork and then as a main beef stroganoff.
In the Playhouse Theatre we watched the Welsh comedian/singer, Mike Doyle. He directed the many late comers to their seats in the front rows, much to enjoyment of the rest of the audience.
P&O testing us about our flights back
We had this form waiting for us that asked about our flight details back to the UK. This was requested to be returned to reception the next day. We used the original P&O provided information on the flights that we had brought with us to fill in the form!
From the Captain’s Log:
At Sea (Noon Posn: 49° 14.9’N, 006° 04.5’W)
At 02:00 we left UK territorial waters and set a speed of 15 knots. Our track favoured the northern half of the Channel as we followed a westerly course of 245°. We continued to parallel the coasts of Devon and Cornwall until 12:50 when we cleared Land’s End to the north and entered into the Celtic Sea. Azura maintained her course and speed until 21 :00 when we altered to a more southerly heading of 227°; this course would be maintained over the next 2 days until our arrival in Ponta Delgada. At 20:15 the return on the echo-sounder was lost, as Azura crossed over from the continental shelf of Western Europe to the abyssal plains of the North Atlantic.
The voyage was peaceful throughout the day, there was minimal cloud cover. The seas remained slight, posing no impediment to Azura’s progress as she steamed south west.
Weather: Sunny with some scattered cloud, dry conditions
Wind: North Easterly, Force 3